- Category: Good News (For Real)
Theme Text - God is the Savior of ALL men, SPECIALLY of those that believe. (1Timothy 4:10 ASV)
1) If everyone is to be brought alive in the Kingdom because of Jesus' ransom for Adam, what's the use of believing and accepting Christ now?
As our theme text 1Tim 4:10 says, even as God saves ALL of Adam, He does save the present-day believers in a SPECIAL way. And this special salvation is linked to the Kingdom of God.
2) What is this Kingdom of God?
This is the Kingdom that Christians pray for – ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven' (Matthew 6:10). This is the Kingdom that Jesus told his followers to go and proclaim (Luke 9:60 NIV).
Yes, God’s Kingdom is to be established on earth where His will shall be done. The 3rd day after Jesus’ death, God raised him from the dead (Acts 13:29-31) and appointed him Lord and King over mankind (Luke 22:29, Philippians 2:9-11). Jesus ascended to heaven promising to return to claim his Kingdom (Acts 1:3-11).
3) When will the Kingdom be established? What’s its purpose according to the Bible?
During Jesus’ return as the promised king, he is to restore the perfection lost in Eden.
'He shall send Jesus whom the heaven must receive until the Times Of Restitution Of All Things, which God hath Spoken By the mouth of all his Holy Prophets since the world began' (Acts 3:20-22). 'The purpose which He has cherished in His own mind of restoring the whole creation to find its one Head in Christ ' (Ephesians 1:10 Weymouth).
The Kingdom of God is the Times of Restitution of All Things and Jesus is its appointed king. All the Holy Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, Daniel etc.) spoke in detail about it.
4) What is the SPECIAL salvation to be received by present-day believers ahead of the unbelievers?
- When Jesus returns as king, ALL (of mankind) that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth (John 5:28-29). The resurrection of the dead will be in two parts, the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15).
- The 'just' are Christ’s chosen followers - the ‘Church’ (meaning ‘called-out’), justified before God as they accept His Christ. They will rise in the ‘first resurrection’ to reign with Christ from heaven over his kingdom on earth that will last for a thousand years (Rev 5:10, 20:4-6, 21:2 NIV).
Yes, those who accept Christ now, follow his teachings and endure persecution for his gospel, secure the right to become children of God and a place in heaven (John 1:12, 14:2-3, Matt 5:11-12 NIV).
- To him that overcometh will I [Jesus] grant to sit with me in my throne. Rev 3:21.
- To the one who does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations. Rev 2:26 NIV.
- If we endure, we will also reign with him [Jesus]. 2Tim 2:12 NIV.
The SPECIAL heavenly reward for believers is to become God’s family and rule the nations alongside Christ.
5) Who are these nations on earth being ruled in the Kingdom? Does it relate to the second resurrection?
- Yes, the rest of mankind (the ‘unjust’ unbelievers) will resurrect on earth in perfect bodies (no genetic sin) to a KRISIS (Greek word mistranslated as damnation, but actually means trial) (John 5:29).
- Jesus and his Church will reign over them and rehabilitate them. The saints will judge the world (1Cor 6:2), offering life to the repentant (Rev 22:17). This 1000-year era is the Judgment Day (2Peter 3:7-8). ‘Judgment’ implies not just a sentence, but also a trial.
- Satan would be bound these years, so he can’t deceive anyone (Rev 20:2-3).There will be a Highway of holiness on earth (Isa. 35:8). Mankind will learn righteousness and be judged by their response to Christ, subsequent progress and behavior (Isa 26:9, Matt 16:27, 25:31-46, Luke 12:48, Micah 4:1-3).
Note: Rev 20:5's spurious first part is not in original manuscripts, so it's shown within () in most bibles (Eg. NIV).
6) Does that mean all those people get a free pass in the Kingdom?
- Not really. At the end of the thousand years, the masses would have full knowledge of God and would be ready to be tested. Then Satan would be let loose for a little season (Rev 20:3).
- Those who refuse to obey Christ and instead turn to Satan’s ways will be sentenced to be destroyed in their ‘second death’ (Jer 31:33-34, Rev 21:8). Finally Satan himself would be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:10). The Bible clarifies, ‘The lake of fire is the second death’ (Rev 20:14 NIV).
- The obedient, on the other hand, will live for endless ages on earth. Adam’s race will praise God, ‘This is our God! We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation!’ (Isa 25:9).
7) Why is the Kingdom taking so long to come? Hasn’t it been 2000 years since Jesus’ First Advent?
God permits the present evil age, when Satan rules and prowls like a lion (1Pet 5:8) to serve a dual purpose -
- All of Adam’s race learn the consequences of lives lived in disobedience to their Creator. They won’t forget when they come back alive. It’ll help them make better choices then.
- And today, there’s a unique opportunity to aim for heaven! Man was created to live on earth. And that's where the restored mankind is going to be. But if one accepts Jesus’ special calling to follow him and proclaim his good news today (Mark 8:34-35, Luke 9:60, Romans 10:9-10, Acts 10:42, 1Pet. 4:13-14), he/she will be tested now itself(when Satan rules)for the reward of going to heaven to rule mankind with Christ.
The ongoing selection of these followers is why the Kingdom is delayed. Selection began with Jesus’ disciples and continues today. And in Satan’s present world, this true Church (the chosen elect) is always going to be a minority few (Matt 7:14, Mark 4:11-12, Matt 13:11-15) persecuted for Christ’s good news.
Once the selection of the elect is complete, Kingdom would begin (Matt 24:31, Rev 11:15).
- For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. Christ paid Adam’s ransom and redeemed Adam’s entire race from death. This is the glorious original good news of the Bible!
- All families shall surely see their loved ones again. What a comforting promise!
- God will destroy the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the LORD God will wipe away tears from off ALL faces (Isa 25:7-8) And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Rev 21:4).
- If we follow Christ in present times, we can reign with him in his Kingdom and help uplift mankind!
Questions For Further Study
- If all these wonderful Scriptures are true, then what exactly are hell and the lake of fire?
- Where do they fit in the above events? Didn’t Jesus talk about weeping and gnashing of teeth?
- Isn’t there a parable about the rich man and Lazarus depicting torment? What does that signify?
- And what does the Bible mean when it says death and hell themselves are to be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:14)?
Read further - A Hell of a Question